Yesterday, New York City Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that the NYPD is ‘actively looking at’ equipping police officers with body-worn video cameras.
Public Advocate Letitia James has called for the implementation of a pilot program since July 2014, releasing a report demonstrating the economic and operational value of equipping officers with body-worn cameras through a pilot program, and later through citywide use. The report recommended that the pilot encompass 15% of police precincts, focusing on those precincts with the highest rate of crime and complaints of misconduct, at an estimated cost of $5 million. The Public Advocate’s proposal called for citywide implementation of body cameras for all patrol officers after the completion of the pilot program.
This proposal went significantly further than the recommendations put forth by Judge Shira Scheindlin in connection with the stop-and-frisk lawsuit (which would apply to only five precincts citywide).
Executed in other cities in the U.S., the Public Advocate has consistently stated that body-worn cameras would provide further accountability and help save New York City money on lawsuits and settlements related to false arrests and police misconduct.